Milton Keynes Mushrooms: A New Generation of Charging Stations

Driving from Northampton to Surrey to visit my family over Christmas I was due to go past the new Milton Keynes Charging Hub so took the opportunity to call in.

The Hub was developed by Milton Keynes Council with a government grant, with the charging infrastructure provided by BP Chargemaster. I had heard on social media that the hub was recently completed. However there’s been nothing in the mainstream press about it – I’m guessing there’ll be an official launch soon.

Milton Keynes 'Mushrooms' Charging Hub (Image: T. Larkum)

Milton Keynes ‘Mushrooms’ Charging Hub (Image: T. Larkum)

It is quite difficult to find. It is tucked away at the far corner of the Coachway bus station (near Junction 14 of the M1) and there’s no signage in place yet. There were fresh road markings in place though.

The location is pretty good, not just because of proximity to the motorway. Being co-located with the bus station means that while you wait to charge there’s easy access on foot to its cafe and toilets (though you have to pay 30p for the latter).

The hub consists of a triangular island with 8 rapid chargers around its edge (why not 9?) all covered over with three large concrete ‘mushroom’ canopies for rain protection. I was there mid-week and it was pretty quiet, however two other EVs did call in even during the short time I was there topping up my i3.

Charging is through BP Chargemaster’s Polar network so requires either the Polar Instant app or Polar Plus subscription as described previously.

BP Chargemaster Rapid Charger at Milton Keynes Charging Hub (Image: T. Larkum)

BP Chargemaster Rapid Charger at Milton Keynes Charging Hub (Image: T. Larkum)

The Hub is a great idea and seems to be implemented well. It also gives an exciting view into the future of organised EV charging, being potentially a bit like using an airport lounge. It represents another nail in the coffin of fossil fuel motoring – who would want to relax and eat at a petrol station?!

If there’s a criticism it’s just the usual one of uneven rapid charger allocation, and one can hardly blame MK council for taking every opportunity to support EVs. But for sure MK alone has more rapid chargers than anywhere else in the UK, including the entire country of Wales.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: